The following letter was sent from FAC to the FDLE.

———-

 

To Whom It May Concern:

 

Last year, the Florida legislature passed a series of laws governing sex offenders. Included in these laws are additional requirements concerning “Vehicles Owned”. These additions included a change in the definition of “Vehicles Owned” in F.S. 320.01.

 

FDLE had circulated an advisory to registrants informing them that they would be required to, “report in person to the sheriff’s office WITHIN 48 HOURS after any change in “vehicles owned” to report those vehicle information changes. {F.S. 943.0435(2)(b)3; 775.21(6)(a)1.c}”

 

The change in definition apparently required a registrant to report in person, within 48 Hours of any change in “Vehicles Owned”, which now includes the following:

Any vehicle:

  • Registered
  • Coregistered
  • Leased
  • Titled, or
  • Rented to YOU

AND

  • A rented vehicle that you are authorized to drive, or
  • A vehicle for which you are insured as a driver.

ALSO included are all vehicles

  • Registered
  • Coregistered
  • Leased
  • Titled, or
  • Rented

By a person or persons residing at your permanent residence for 5 or more consecutive days.

 

The Florida Action Committee (FAC) is a non-profit advocacy group. Our members are predominantly comprised of registered citizens and their family members. Part of FACs function is to provide information to our members in an effort to help them navigate the complex and confusing requirements of the registry.

 

The changes to the “Vehicles Owned” requirement has created significant confusion and the purpose of this letter is to solicit your guidance as to what would trigger an event that would require registration.

 

Below are some questions or scenarios and we would appreciate if you could advise whether registration would be required under these scenarios.

 

For ease of reference, I will outline and number these questions/scenarios so that you can respond referencing the number.

 

  1. Registrant receives a houseguest who plans to stay for a week and has a vehicle. Registrant will not drive the houseguest’s vehicle. Is Registrant required to report to the sheriff’s office in person to register the guest’s car?
  2. Under 1; would the 48 hour requirement be triggered within 48 hours of the guest’s arrival or within 48 hours of the guest’s staying 5 or more consecutive days
  3. Under 1; would the Registrant be required to report to the sheriff’s office in person again within 48 hours to report the change when the houseguest leaves, in order to remove the vehicle from the registry?
  4. Registrant lives with a non-familial roommate. That roommate receives a houseguest and has a vehicle. Registrant has no clue how long the roommate’s guest plans to stay. Is Registrant required to report to the sheriff’s office in person to register the roommate’s guest’s car?
  5.  Under 4; would the Registrant be required to report to the sheriff’s office in person within 48 hours every time the non-familial roommate changes cars or receives a houseguest?
  6.  Many Registrants are destitute or have difficulty finding housing and live in a shared living environment (ie: group home, halfway-house, transient living facility, etc.). Is Registrant required to report to the sheriff’s office in person to register every vehicle belonging to an individual staying in that shared living environment?
  7.  Under 6; would the Registrant be required to report to the sheriff’s office in person every time a new individual owning/leasing/renting a vehicles moves into or out of the shared living environment?
  8.  Since “Permanent Residence” can include a transient address and many Registrants live homeless at encampments throughout Florida, would the definition of “person or persons residing at your permanent residence” include other registrants registered as transient at the same location?
  9.  Vehicles “rented to” a Registrant are now required to be registered. Registrant from Miami travels to Jacksonville for business. Registrant will be in Jacksonville for three days. While in Jacksonville Registrant will rent a car. Is Registrant required to report to the sheriff’s office in person to register the rented car?
  10.  Under 9; would the Registrant be able to report, in person, to the sheriff’s office in Jacksonville to register the rented car, or would they need to return to Miami within 48 hours to register the rented car?
  11.  Under 9; would the Registrant also be required to report, in person, to the sheriff’s office to report that the rental car has been returned and, if so, would the Registrant be required to report to the sheriff in Jacksonville or in Miami to report that the rental car has been returned?
  12.  Registrant from Orlando travels to Tallahassee for business. Registrant will only be in Tallahassee for one day and plans to rent a car for the day. Is Registrant required to report to the sheriff’s office in person within 48 hours to register the rental car, even though the car had already been returned?
  13.  Registrant lives with a spouse/relative/roommate. The spouse/relative/roommate is a “person residing at [Registrant’s] permanent residence for 5 or more consecutive days”. Would registrant be required to report to the sheriff’s office in person within 48 hours to register a vehicle rented to the spouse/relative/roommate?
  14.  Registrant lives with a spouse/relative/roommate in Miami. The spouse/relative/roommate is a “person residing at [Registrant’s] permanent residence for 5 or more consecutive days”. Spouse/relative/roommate travels to Jacksonville (without Registrant) for work and rents a vehicle. Would registrant be required to report to the sheriff’s office in person within 48 hours to register a vehicle rented to the spouse/relative/roommate?
  15.  If the answer to 14 is yes; if the spouse/relative/roommate is unable to recall the VIN and License Tag Number of the rental car or unwilling to provide that information, is there an exception that would enable the Registrant avoid committing a third degree felony?
  16.  Registrant is employed by a company that operates a fleet of vehicles (ex: landscaping company, construction, etc.) and is insured through an umbrella policy that covers the entire fleet. Under the requirement of registering “a vehicle for which [the Registrant] are insured as a driver”, would Registrant be required to report to the sheriff’s office in person within 48 hours to register every vehicle in the fleet or anytime a vehicle is added to the fleet?
  17.  F.S. 943.0435(2)(b)3/775.21(6)(a)1.c specifies the requirement to report in person to the sheriff’s office WITHIN 48 HOURS after any change in “vehicles owned” (emphasis taken from FDLE’s 2014 Registration Updates). May a Registrant report to their local sheriff’s office or are they required to report to the designated “registration office” for the county, which might be far, inconvenient, only open designated hours, require a substantial wait and could require a Registrant to take additional time off work?
  18.  If the answer to 17 requires the Registrant to report to the county’s registration location, many registration offices require appointments or have set registration days that would make compliance with this requirement impossible. Is there any exception in the statute that would accommodate this situation?

 

Kindly respond to the scenarios/questions referencing the number your answer corresponds to. If the answer to any of the scenarios/questions is no, kindly provide the statutory reference to the exception so that we can share it with our membership.

 

I greatly appreciate your anticipated cooperation in providing this clarification.

 

Sincerely,

 

Gail Colletta, President

Florida Action Committee, Inc.

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